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The fact that users' phone numbers can now be used to look up profiles, even if they weren't registered on Facebook, has caused severe unrest among its user community. It can be restricted to "Friends of friends" or just "Friends", but the option defaults to "Everyone".

Twitter user Jeremy Burge, who runs the website Emojipedia, recently discovered that Facebook users can not opt out of letting others "look up" their account using the phone number they provided for two-factor authentication (2FA), TechCrunch reports.

While this might be fine for users who intentionally place their phone number on their profiles, Facebook apparently also uses phone numbers that were used specifically to set up its two-factor authentication. Facebook has pronounced that there will be a mode of changes to be adapted on how it handles user data, including disabling the ability to find other Facebook users by "Look up" for their phone number.

TechCrunch was the first to report the feature after Jeremy Burge who's running Emojipedia called this whole thing out via Twitter last week.

The phone number you may occasionally be asked to verify as a backup Facebook login is actually also used as a "look up" method for "friends" to be able to track you down.by default.

Byrne then added, "even if you leave specific instructions with your provider to not port your SIM without a PIN and photo ID, smooth-talking criminals can still convince telco employees to do it anyway, with the result that the crook obtains control of your phone number - and can receive any communications sent to it".

Facebook doesn't let you get rid of the look-up option entirely. "Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that", wrote Burge. Recently in 2018 Facebook was coerced to profess that a user's phone number is fabricated to target the Ads. Your phone number becomes a bridge across services, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram. But what we come to know is that Facebook has doubled this process of misusing users personal phone number.

In September 2018, the company was found to be using 2FA numbers for the goal of ad-targeting.

To cap it off, Burge suggests this new reliance on the phone number is Facebook's reaction to data regulations like GDPR. In response, Facebook said this practice isn't new. To do that, users will need to click on Settings Privacy.

Zeynep Tufecki, a leading security expert states "Using security to further weaken privacy is a lousy move - especially since phone numbers can be hijacked to weaken security". Mr. Stamos tweeted that "Facebook can't credibly require two-factor for high-risk accounts without segmenting that from search and ads".


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